BOSTON -- Chris Wilcox has waited long enough.
The Boston Celtics big man underwent season-ending heart surgery in March and watched his teammates fight for a title from courtside seats.
After months of rehab, he re-signed with the Celtics this summer and was poised to make his comeback. However, his return has been delayed due to back spasms.
"I'm not ready, I'm not comfortable right now," he said prior to Tuesday's preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets. "When my strength and my conditioning get where they need to be, then I'm going to get back out there. I don't want to go back out there too early and then sit out again. I want to make sure this time when I come back, I'm ready."
Wilcox's comeback will be a process. He is currently able to exercise on the treadmill, do light lifting, and recently returned to basketball activities. He also receives a bevy of treatments, from stim to heat packs, stretching to massages.
"You name it, I'm getting it," he said.
Wilcox underwent an MRI following the Celtics return from Europe, but cannot undergo any more at this time because his body was exposed to radiation with previous tests for his heart.
While his patience will pay off in the long run, it is challenging for him to continue playing the waiting game. He has not suited up since March 7. Now he joins his teammates on the bench, knowing he will not be able to step on to the court just yet.
"The hardest part right now is just sitting out watching," said Wilcox, continuing, "The main thing is just being around the game, being around the guys is like motivation to just keep me going. It's tough when I'm not around and I don't see it, then I have to see it on TV.
"It's better just to be around the guys because it kind of keeps my mind off of just sitting around and things like that. But it's definitely tough for me. I want to be out there. I think I've been watching long enough."